Shorts: Bay Area

Jewish volunteer in Santa Rosa pleads guilty to grand theft

A prominent member of Santa Rosa’s Jewish community pleaded guilty late last month to one count of grand theft relating to a $33,000 embezzlement case.

Jan Schwartz, 48, claims she has since paid back the money to the Montgomery High School Education Foundation; at the time of her arrest in May she claimed to have paid back all but $15,000 of the appropriated money.

Schwartz, who was also the program director of the Sonoma County Jewish Film Series, chair of the Tzaddikim Jewish Teen Leadership Program at Congregation Shomrei Torah and a volunteer staffer at the Jewish Community Agency of Sonoma County, pleaded guilty Sept. 20 in exchange for 20 forgery counts being dropped.

She will not serve prison time for the felony conviction, instead faces probation following her November sentencing. Schwartz will also be mandated to finance a final audit of the foundation’s books.

Bay Area philanthropies win kudos

A pair of Bay Area Jewish organizations cracked a list of the nation’s 50 most innovative.

Both Jewish Milestones and the Jewish Partisan Educational Fund were included in “Slingshot ’06,” a list of creative Jewish nonprofit organizations.

Berkeley’s Jewish Milestones — formally called The Ritualist — is a one-stop shop for Jews hoping to celebrate a lifecycle event but having little or no idea how.

The San Francisco-based JPEF develops and distributes educational materials about the Jewish partisans, the roughly 30,000 Jews who fought a guerilla war against the Nazis.

To receive a free copy of Slingshot ’06, please visit or send an email to [email protected].

Childhood lecture series at SPHDS

South Peninsula Hebrew Day School will hold the first of six Gan Aviv Preschool Lectures at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the school’s Sunnyvale campus at 1030 Astoria Drive.

Karen Friedland Brown, a parent educator at Parents Place on the Peninsula, will speak on “Understanding Your Child’s Temperament.” She is the co-author of “Parentmaking: A Practical Handbook for Teaching Parents.”

Admission is $5. For information, write to [email protected] or call (408) 738-3060.

JFCS marks citizenship law victory

Anita Friedman, executive director of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, is celebrating the signing into law of AB 2060, also called the New Californians Act.

The bill establishes the Naturalization Services Program, the first permanent, codified citizenship program in California history. JFCS helped lobby legislators to pass the bill, introduced earlier this year by Assemblyman Hector de la Torre (D-South Gate).

Said Friedman, “California has one of the lowest rates in the country for conversion of legal immigrants and refugees into citizens. Our work in developing and shepherding this bill for the past two years has been critical to its legislative progress. State support for citizenship services provided through the JFCS Immigration Law Clinic will make it possible for us to help secure citizenship for up to 1,000 people each year.”

Silver anniversary for Reutlinger’s Solid Gold Ball in November

The Solid Gold Ball, a fundraising fixture for the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living, turns 25 this year.

The fiesta boasts 35 couples who have attended every ball, and, in the past, has featured entertainers such as Henny Youngman, Shelly Berman and Brad Garrett (the really tall guy from “Everybody Loves Raymond”).

Ball No. 25 rolls around on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Round Hill Country Club at 3169 Round Hill Road, Alamo. For more information, call (925) 648-2800.